By Glendy Vanderah
© 2019, Lake Union Publishing
Kindle version; file size 5390 KB
Paperback, 333 pages.
Grad student and cancer survivor Jo is isolated in a remote cabin, working on her thesis, when a young girl shows up at her place barefoot and covered in bruises. The girl calls herself Ursa, claims to have been sent from the stars to learn about humans, and can’t go home until she witnesses five miracles. Jo’s elusive neighbor Gabe soon gets involved, and Ursa’s presence throws both their lives into chaos in short order while bonding the three of them in ways they could never have foreseen.
I can’t remember the last time I read a book so good it made me put everything else aside so I could just finish the story. This was just that good. I quickly got invested in Jo’s, Ursa’s, and Gabe’s tale and couldn’t wait to find out how everything turned out. All three of them were wounded, for differing reasons, and together, they brought healing to one another. I also loved Ursa’s quick intelligence, her vivid imagination, and the joy she brought to every little thing. Her spark (I loved that she called them “quarks”) was contagious enough to light Gabe’s way out of his suffering, as well as Jo’s road to Gabe.
I can certainly see why Forest is classified as Women’s Fiction; with Jo as the main character and Ursa the main focus, and both of them being exceptionally strong females in harsh circumstances, the story is sometimes suspenseful, sometimes heartbreaking, but hopeful throughout. It’s a real “feel-good” book that warmed me to my core.
There’s nothing not to love about this story. Very highly recommended.